Manchester City ready to launch summer move for West Ham midfielder Declan Rice

Declan Rice: Man City join Man Utd in race for £100m-rated West Ham midfielder this summer


EXCLUSIVE: Manchester City are set to rival Man United in the £100m race for Declan Rice this summer… with Pep Guardiola and Co sending an early hit back at Erik ten Hag after he joined Old Trafford

  • Manchester City set to launch summer move for West Ham’s Declan Rice
  • Rice has attracted interest from Manchester United over the past year
  • But City will now aim to gaze at their neighbors by beating them to signing
  • They have asked West Ham to keep them informed of Rice’s future this summer
  • However, the Hammers’ valuation of over £100m could prove a problem

Manchester City will send an early response to Erik ten Hag by joining the summer battle for West Ham’s £100m England star Declan Rice.

City, who have been eyed by United in recent years for Alexis Sanchez and Cristiano Ronaldo, are ready to back Pep Guardiola in the transfer market and lessen Ten Hag’s impact at Old Trafford following his appointment last week.

Although a deal for £63m Dortmund striker Erling Haaland has already been agreed, City bosses have made it clear they can also go after Rice, with club captain Fernandinho departing to leave a vacancy in midfield.

Manchester City ready to launch summer move for West Ham midfielder Declan Rice

Erik ten Hag will likely target a move for Rice to Old Trafford

But City are ready to compete with them for his signature

Pep Guardiola and Co look to send a swift response to new Man United boss Erik ten Hag

City’s net outlay over the past 12 months has been a modest £37million, with the record signing of Jack Grealish mostly offset by the sale of Ferran Torres, Jack Harrison and Angelino.

It gives the current Premier League champions a huge financial advantage over United who want to build a new team around Rice but will be on a tight budget if they miss out on Champions League qualification.

Moreover, the prospect of challenging for trophies under Pep Guardiola would be more appealing to Rice, 23, than having to help rebuild a club which needs ‘open heart surgery’ according to their current interim Ralf Rangnick.

It is understood City have already asked to be kept informed of Rice’s future plans and have made it clear he is a viable destination.

A deal for £63m for Dortmund striker Erling Haaland has already been agreed by City

A deal for £63m for Dortmund striker Erling Haaland has already been agreed by City

The only sticking point would be West Ham’s valuation. Last summer, they refused to match Tottenham’s £150m asking price for Harry Kane, believing the price was inflated.

Rice, who has captained West Ham for most of this season, has not committed to a new contract as he weighs his options.

Ideally, he would like a return to Chelsea who released him at the age of 14, but the current instability at Stamford Bridge with Roman Abramovich forced to sell the club after sanctions makes that unlikely.

Ahead of Sunday’s London derby between Chelsea and West Ham at Stamford Bridge, Blues boss Thomas Tuchel has suggested the England international will not travel to his club.

Rice has also attracted interest from boyhood club Chelsea in recent months

Rice has also attracted interest from boyhood club Chelsea in recent months

“Maybe he’s out of our league even though we don’t have the crisis,” Tuchel said. “It can be when you hear the numbers floating around.

“As you know, we don’t usually talk about the other players, when it comes to whether we’re interested, not interested because we take care of the guys we have here.

“The situation gives me a slight advantage in that right now we can’t even think about buying or selling or doing anything, so there’s nothing to think about.”

Even so, Tuchel is full of admiration for Rice’s all-round play in midfield. “I rate him very highly, not only does he seem like a very nice guy, which everyone tells me about Chelsea academy, but he proves it.”

But Blues head coach Thomas Tuchel concedes they are no longer in the hunt for him

But Blues head coach Thomas Tuchel concedes they are no longer in the hunt for him

“It’s like he plays every game. He’s available, he’s a captain, he plays with a lot of responsibility, he’s a very physical player.

“A very strategic player. A key player for his team. Strong in set pieces. I think it’s no surprise, everyone sees that.

“He takes responsibility. He’s a big part of this team’s success. And that’s impressive, of course.

West Ham are hoping qualifying for the Champions League by winning the Europa League will be their trump card in persuading Rice to stay on for another season.

The Hammers will face Eintracht Frankfurt in their semi-final first leg at the London Stadium on Thursday.

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